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New York City Foodie looking for Must-Try's in Seattle!

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So this is my first trip to Seattle, and I want to ensure in my three days I try a couple of culinary musts. They don't need to be exorbitantly expensive -- just really good. Thanks in advance for all recs!

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  1. Having lived back in NY for 20 years, I would recommend Seafood, Thai, and cupcakes. Seattle Chinese is very different than East coast Chinese. Pizza is above average, but you'll have better back east. There are some good burger places. Stay away from Mexican, it’s probably just as bad in NY. Stay away from BBQ.

    1. Check out Tamarind Tree and/or Green Leaf--both Vietnamese.

      1. I lived in NYC prior to Seattle, and I have been blown away by the selection of vietnamese pho found here, Sort of like Pizza is to NY. Seek it out. Also, the vietnamese sandwiches are quite good.. and cheap.

        Yes, it is cliche, but Salumi is an experience worth the visit, Be prepared for long lines.

        Taqueria Guaymas offers a passable Tacos al Pastor... at least better then I could find in NY.

        What I would do to have soup dumplings from Joe's Shanghai again... pass on Chinese unless you go for Dim Sum.

        1. I'd try the chinese restaurants with fresh seafood ..especially west coast seafood .. off the top of my head .. sea garden (but I'm sure there are others) a freah dungeness crab in balck bean or ginger sauce is not reproducable in NYC... I'll also recommend, carta de oaxaca in Ballard (a great lunch spot!) and also senor moose (also in Ballard) which has Mexican breakfasts by region. I'd pop into Licorous and have a cocktail with it's matching knosh ... and maybe have dinner at Lark next door or if you are up for the wait try Sitka & Spruce.... also be sure to swing by the liquor store and pick up the doug fir liqueur made down in Oregon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: oliveoyl

            Second the Lark recommendation.

          2. Honestly....you'd probably be most satisfied by the fresh Dungeness Crab from our local waters. Waterfront Seafood Grill is having a Dungeness Crab 'theme' on their menu for March....it's a beautiful place with very good seafood, an excellent Happy Hour, too, and the view can't be beat...go at sunset and get a 'dose' of the beautiful & colorful Puget Sound view at that time of day. I wouldn't recommend Salumi to a New Yorker...the Italian Salumerias in NY are better than ANYTHING you'd find out here....don't get me wrong, I appreciate what Armando does for Italian- food- starved-Seattle at Salumi, but........

            1. I moved to Seattle from the NYC area just over a year ago. I agree with the particular Vietnamese recommendations, but disagree that Mexican should be avoided. As noted, consider La Carta de Oaxaca (or the tortas/taquerias/trucks that are heavily favored on this board).

              I would say Sichuan food around here is quite good, esp. Szechuan Chef or Bamboo Garden (both in Bellevue). Shangahainese food, sadly, is despiciable locally. Sushi here is a better value than in NYC, though perhaps it does not reach the verified heights (and exorbitant prices) of the high-end places there. I always enjoy Saito's and Kisaku, and many love Nishino and Shiro's too.

              Local ingredients here are so good. Inventive and delicious expressions of the bounty can be had (in order of cost) at Sitka and Spruce, Union, Lark and Crush.

              I always reccomend Ethiopian/Eritean to NYC folk, especially Meskel and Dahlak.

              1 Reply
              1. re: equinoise

                Thanks to all for these thoughtful responses! I will report back!

              2. If what you want is really good food that's locally sourced, a great place to go is Steelhead Diner. It's right across from the Public Market. The menu changes daily (although some dishes remain most of the year), and even the wine list is entirely Northwest! It's my go-to spot, even though I live an hour away, and everyone I've ever taken has fallen in love with the food. It's much better than other hyped restaurants around town, and the prices are a steal for the quality of food you're getting. Another plus: if you eat meat, and you like it rare, I've never been anywhere that knows what rare really means like the chefs here do!

                1 Reply
                1. re: hannahp79

                  Quinn's on Capitol Hill knows what rare means re: meat....also it's a great, casual place...much better quality food and creative style than the Steelhead with similar atmosphere & prices...IMO....so, next time you take the drive to Seattle.....

                2. I think Ray's Boathouse is a culinary must for visitor. You can have Dungeness crab, wild salmon, or halibut and lots of good Oregon and Washington wines on the wine list. The service is great and the ambiance and west-facing views are completely Seattle.It is not inexpensive though.

                  For inexpensive, try the barley green noodles chow mein at Shanghai Garden in the International District.